The Future of Political Islam
By Graham E. Fuller
(Palgrave Macmillan, Paperback, 9781403965561, 256pp.)
Publication Date: May 2004
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Graham E. Fuller brings a lifetime of experience in the Muslim world to shed light on how common, even universal, political behavior takes on a distinctively Islamic guise in the Muslim world. By examining the social, economic and political context, he explains that the struggle between the fundamentalists and liberals will determine the future of political Islam. This sweeping survey of trends in the Muslim world, from Morocco to the Philippines, explores the diversity of Islamic political activity and makes clear that Islamic political movements represent a broad spectrum of outlook and behavior. Whether traditional or liberal, these movements have become an important vehicle for the concerns, aspirations and grievances of vast numbers of Muslims worldwide and are a natural outgrowth of Muslim history. Fuller contends that while political Islam is the dominant intellectual current, a focus on radicalism and extremism blinds us from another trend: liberal political Islam. The issues are not what is Islam, but what Muslims want, and not whether Islam will play a central role in politics, but which Islam. As Islam has become the vocabulary for political and social expression, it has come to serve various agendas.
Graham E. Fuller is former Vice-Chairman of the National Intelligence Council at CIA.
"...an illuminating read and a welcome addition to the growing literature on contemporary Islam..."--Publishers Weekly Annex
"After September 11, 2001, the discussion around Islam has often been shrill and usually sterile; that is why Graham Fuller's measured, scholarly and eminently sensible voice needs to be heard. Read Fuller's new book The Future of Political Islam to make sense of the dangerous, changing and complex relationship between the West and the world of Islam."--Akbar S. Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University in Washington, D.C. is author of Islam Today: A Short Introduction to the Muslim World (I.B.Tauris, 2002)
"This is the most insightful book on developments in political Islam since the Iranian revolution shook the world. Having lived myself many years in the shadow of a mosque, I can say without hesitation that Fuller has captured the core and nature of Islamism. Importantly, he casts the movement as part of the solution to the looming confrontation between the United States and what we call the Islamic world, not just the cause of the confrontation. The Future of Political Islam is a must read, both for those shaping U.S. policy toward one-fifth of mankind and for America's own religious leaders who themselves have a hand on the political tiller."--Milt Bearden is a former senior CIA official and author of The Black Tulip (Random House, 2002) and co-author of The Main Enemy (Random House, 2003)
"Graham Fuller is supremely qualified to provide rich insight into contemporary Islamic thinking on politics, economics and international relations. Here his sensitivity to differences among Muslims combines with an impressive discussion of contemporary developments, resulting in an important contribution to understanding. Fuller argues persuasively that Islamic political movements are, above all, an engagement with the modern world, not a flight from it, and that it is possible to reason critically with their ideas. Fuller's hope that Islamist movements will engage in participatory politics, and his belief that they should be tested by the experience of government, underpin his cautiously optimistic analysis that the future of political Islam can be peaceful."--Fred Halliday, London School of Economics, author Nation and Religion in the Middle East